In among his first comments addressing Jake Paul since vowing to never speak of him again, UFC President Dana White has explained why a fight between Conor McGregor and the YouTuber is “probably not” going to happen.
So far in his 5-0 boxing career, Paul has knocked out two former UFC welterweights, one of which held gold on MMA’s biggest stage between 2016 and 2019. But while his MMA foes have, to date, been retired or released following a losing skid, “The Problem Child” has often set his sights on bigger fish.
As opponents have changed, rivalries developed, and his influence in combat sports has grown, one thing has remained a constant in Paul’s career: callouts to “The Notorious” McGregor.
Paul’s interest and mentions of a potential clash are seemingly increasing with every step closer to a return the Irishman makes. The former two-division champion has been out of action since breaking his leg last July.
One man who will need to give the go-ahead should the YouTuber-turned-boxer throw down with McGregor is Dana White. While the UFC President has previously co-promoted a crossover fight involving McGregor, he recently provided a negative assessment of the chances of Paul getting his wish down the line.
White Not “Completely Closed Off” To Paul vs. McGregor
Unsurprisingly, the topic came up during an appearance White made on the Impaulsive podcast, hosted by Jake’s brother, Logan Paul.
When asked if he could see a McGregor vs. Paul event in the future, White suggested that while he won’t shut the door on anything, it’s unlikely.
“Probably not (happening), no. I’m never completely closed off to anything. I used to say that about things, but I don’t say that anymore. Cause you never know, you never know what could happen,” said White.
The crossover market has grown exponentially in recent years, with Ben Askren, Tyron Woodley, Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort, and Frank Mir all representing former UFC stars who have dipped their toes into the boxing ring.
Despite helping start the trend with the 2017 ‘Money Fight’ between McGregor and Floyd Mayweather, as well as bringing some notable professional wrestling stars to the Octagon, White says UFC bookings involving internet stars like the Pauls goes against his promotion’s main goal: pitting the best against the best.
“Everything we do kills the bottom. I mean, we have the most successful combat sports business of all time. What we do here is completely different than what him (Logan Paul) and his brother are doing,” claimed White. “I’m looking for the absolute best in the world. These guys who have trained their whole lives, they fight at these smaller shows, and then they make it to the UFC, and we put the best against the best.
“It’s just not what you do. There’s a market for what you guys do and there’s money to be made in it. I’m not saying that I don’t do those types of thing,” White continued. “I brought Brock (Lesnar) in. But Brock won the heavyweight championship. I brought CM Punk in, that one didn’t work out as well as Brock [LAUGHS]. It’s not like I don’t try to do these—the Floyd/Conor fight, you know? The fans wanted to see it; everybody wanted to see it. That’s why it took on a life of its own. Floyd and I got together and figured it out, it made sense, and we did it.”
Even if that level of interest was there for a McGregor vs. Paul bout, White explained why the pair’s size difference would make it an unrealistic matchup.
“Well, he shouldn’t even be fighting Conor McGregor. These guys (Pauls) are fucking huge, he’s (Jake) fucking huge. What’s your brother, 6’1″? 210 (pounds)? Conor McGregor’s 155 pounds… There’s weight classes for a reason.”
Paul Responds To White’s Comments On McGregor Fight
White also went on to suggest that even fighting at welterweight is a stretch for McGregor, something Paul later disputed on Twitter. He called for a fight with the Dublin native at 175 pounds.
Interestingly, during his conversation with White, Logan suggested his brother couldn’t make 170 pounds to meet McGregor for a welterweight bout. With that in mind, 175 would perhaps be a stretch for “The Problem Child,” who weighed in for his rematch with Woodley at 191.6 pounds.
How do you think a fight between Conor McGregor and Jake Paul would play out?